November 10-11, 2007
by Charles R. Swindoll
Thoughts are the thermostat that regulates what we accomplish in life. If I feed my mind upon doubt, disbelief, and discouragement, that is precisely the kind of day my body will experience. If I adjust my thermostat forward to thoughts filled with vision, vitality, and victory, I can count on that kind of day. Thus, you and I become what we think about.
Neither Dale Carnegie nor Norman Vincent Peale originated such a message. God did. “For as [a man] thinks within himself, so he is” (Prov. 23:7). “Therefore, prepare your minds for action” (1 Peter 1:13).
The mind is a “thought factory” producing thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of thoughts each day. Production in your thought factory is under the charge of two foremen. One we shall call Mr. Triumph, the other Mr. Defeat.
Mr. Triumph specializes in producing reasons why you can face life victoriously, why you can handle what comes your way, why you’re more than able to conquer. Mr. Defeat is an expert in the opposite. He develops reasons why you cannot succeed, why you’re inadequate, why you should give up and give in to worry, failure, discouragement, and inferiority.
Give a positive signal, and Mr. Triumph will see to it that one encouraging, edifying thought after another floods your mind. But Mr. Defeat is always standing by, awaiting a negative signal (which he would rather you call “reality” or “common sense!”), and when he gets it, he cranks out discouraging, destructive, demoralizing thoughts that will soon have you convinced you can’t or won’t or shouldn’t.
Thoughts, positive or negative, grow stronger when fertilized with constant repetition. That may explain why so many who are gloomy and gray stay in that mood . . . and why those who are cheery and enthusiastic continue to be so.
What kind of performance would your car deliver if every morning before you left for work you scooped up a handful of dirt and put it in your crankcase? The engine would soon be coughing and sputtering. Ultimately it would refuse to start. The same is true of your life. Thoughts that are narrow, self-destructive, and abrasive produce needless wear and tear on your mental motor. They send you off the road while others drive past.
You need only one foreman in your mental factory: Mr. Triumph is his name. He is eager to assist you and available to all the members of God’s family.
His real name is the Holy Spirit, the Helper.
If Mr. Defeat is busily engaged as the foreman of your factory, fire yours and hire ours! You will be amazed at how smoothly the plant will run under His leadership.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.